Our Team

The leadership team at Glarea

Yvona Haas

Grade 5/6 Teacher

yvona-haaz Surrey Private School


Memorable worthwhile experiences in my life, whether personal or professional, have manifested by connecting sparks of curiosity through learning and sharing something new. As a learner and a teacher my understanding of learning is never-ending, reciprocal, and involves being joyfully immersed in extracting the inexhaustible vastness of knowledge. This has served me as a source of curiosity, wonder and excitement and has laid the groundwork for my journey and acquisition of lifelong learning.

I have obtained my BA in History from York University while simultaneously pursuing musical and vocal studies at Toronto University, Warsaw Academy of Music and UBC Opera Performance. After participating in International Vocal Competitions and professional engagements on operatic and concert stages in Canada and Europe, in 2008 I returned to UBC to complete my Teachers Qualifications and have assumed teaching assignments with Vancouver School Board Adult Education Program. In 2017 I was offered a position of a principal with St John’s Academy, where I remained till 2019. In September of 2019 an opportunity to travel to Shanghai as a curriculum consultant to Xianda College St. John’s Academy Campus was presented, which I accepted. Surge of the COVID pandemic prevented me from returning to China, however I have continued performing the consulting and instructional functions as an online teacher. I instructed the students in Shanghai with developing learning styles and curriculum streams aligned with the requirement of BC Ministry of Education curriculum.

Although teaching as a profession has not been my first ‘job option’, I now find teaching to be rewarding beyond measure. Working as a singer, interpreting the most beautiful music in the vocal repertoire was highly rewarding and inspirational and has provided me with invaluable skills which J now draw on as an educator. Sharing my knowledge and skills as a teacher allows me to guide students beyond-what they will be able to learn and to have a cumulative effect on their growth and development. The two professional pathways feel like a natural progression: to share my love of music, history, and “stuff” with young people and to fuel in them the joy of lifelong learning founded on personal worth, competence and confidence in their ability to produce meaning and understanding, and determine their reality.

Jasveen Bunwait

Kindergarten Teacher

Jasveen Private School Surrey


Jasveen graduated from the American Montessori Internationale Primary Teaching program and also holds her certification in Early Childhood Education. She has also completed her Bachelor's Degree with a concentration in Sociology of Education. An educator for eight years she has worked extensively within the primary school setting. Jasveen has a strong passion for education, children, and building community. Her educational philosophy is rooted in giving children a choice and a voice. Jasveen believes that allowing children to make their own choices through modeling examples, teachable moments, and tangible lessons helps to build the true self.

Jasveen is a strong advocate for equality in education, a strong school community, and creating comfort, not fear, in classrooms. Jasveen truly believes that excellence in academics, positive personal and social development, and helping to build character in each child is a collective effort. Jasveen strongly believes the foundation for each child is built upon the teacher and parent communication. Jasveen believes that the continuum and continuity of learning lie in uplifting and illuminating each child’s gifts. Allowing children to position themselves in a state of wonder; rather than placing them into a fixed expectation.

Through open communication and an adaptable approach, Jasveen believes that each student at Glarea is destined for success!

Karen Mahay

Grade 1/2 Teacher

Karen private school surrey


Hi! My name is Karen Mahay and I am very excited to be a part of the Glarea team! From a young age, I knew I wanted to become a teacher, thanks to the amazing teachers I had during my years of learning. After seeing how dedicated and caring my elementary teachers were, I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

I completed my Associate’s Degree in Arts at Douglas College, and furthered my studies at Simon Fraser University by obtaining my Bachelor of Arts Degree with a specialization in Sociology. I also have a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I have been working in the childcare and education field for over 9 years, with experience working with children aged 3-12.

I believe student success begins when students feel comfortable and safe in their learning environment. It is important to build a positive and caring relationship with each student and their families so they feel confident in their school community.

Students are not the only ones who learn from educators. I strongly believe teachers can and do learn a lot from their students. Therefore, I make it a priority to teach what students are interested in, as that is when they learn best. I have experience working with a variety of educational philosophies – Reggio Emilia, inquiry and STEM based learning as well as play based learning. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and dog Neko. I am an avid crafter and enjoy baking!

Danielle Léonard

Grade 3/4 &
French Teacher

Glarea staff


Danielle is a native French speaker with a degree from Queen’s University in French Studies and Music, and recently completed her Bachelor of Education with a specialization in French education. Her balance of both personal and professional experience combined with a passion for life-long learning create a welcoming and immersive classroom experience for her students. Danielle’s approach to education is based on 4 pillars—a positive and nurturing environment, the teacher’s role as a guide in their students’ learning, developing from personal experiences, as well as the importance of balance in life. She actively implements these strategies to challenge her students to take agency and create the change they wish to see in both their academic and personal endeavours.

Danielle is also a professional musician and loves finding ways to incorporate music and song into her classroom to enhance the learning experience. She prioritizes diversified and individualized teaching styles and aims to ensure that all her students are striving to attain the most authentic version of themselves.

Outside of teaching and playing music, as she recently moved from Ontario, Danielle loves to explore BC through walking, biking, and road trips. She also loves cooking and crafting.

Madame Danielle a hâte de vous rencontrer!

Tina Zhu

Teacher - Mandarin



As a native Mandarin speaker, Tina has been teaching Mandarin for over four years. Her students have ranged from kindergarten to grade eleven in both classroom and one-on-one settings. She held a Teacher’s Certificate in China before moving to Vancouver and holds a Certificate of Mandarin Standard Pronunciation. Through her experience, she has become highly experienced in developing student centred teaching strategies specific to learning Mandarin. She believes that curiosity is the key to learning and that creative lesson plans with interactive activities are crucial to successful teaching. She loves to incorporate interesting facts about the Chinese language and culture into her lessons and to introduce hands-on art projects to inspire students’ passion. She loves to encourage students and to see the joy in their eyes as they learn to understand the personal satisfaction that accompanies the learning of a new language. On a personal level, she loves nature and going hiking in her leisure time.


Raman Boporai

School Administrative
Assistant & Teacher

Dance Stream for kids


Raman always aspired to become a child educator, and in doing so, inspiring children continues to inevitably fostered this personal passion. Raman’s educational background includes General Studies with a concentration in Psychology. She also holds an Early Childhood Education Certificate. Throughout the last six years of her career, she has had excellent opportunities to work with diverse students. 
Raman has worked in-depth with the new curriculum to design hands-on learning experiences that explore each student’s unique learning style through relevant and purposeful lessons. Her instructional strategies are crafted with each student’s interests and needs in mind while keeping the learners at the centre. It has been important for Raman to engage students in inquiry-based lessons that encourage students to be curious and explore their passions. 
Additionally, Raman believes that school should be a safe and welcoming environment where youth learn and develop social skills to survive in the outside world and teachers aid in materializing many of these concepts. Teachers are a steppingstone for their students and play a vital role in moulding their early lives. Raman’s empathetic nature and ability to quickly connect with students ensure all students feel comfortable and emotionally supported. 
Raman prides herself on being a lifelong learner; she wholeheartedly believes to “never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.” She considers it imperative to learn from children and grow and flourish with them; this is one of the many reasons that fuel her passion for education. One of her aspirations is to pursue a Master’s of Education in the near future.
Outside of teaching, Raman enjoys spending time with her young daughter and family. She enjoys travelling, biking, and cooking in her leisure time.

Nadia Irshād




Nadia Irshād’s educational background is in Environmental Studies focusing on Sustainable Development and Urban Planning. She pursued a career in Art & Design working in Magazine Print Design and web design for a decade before opening her first early learning school. She is the Founder and CEO of Academics Educational Systems, a franchise system that operates corporate and franchised centres called Academics preKindergarten. As a resident of the South Surrey area, Nadia has had the privilege of being a board member of the Peninsula Community Foundation. She was a member of The Women’s Presidents Organization for years, before focusing on her current role as a Board Member for Arts Umbrella, Canada’s non-profit leader in arts education for young people, providing access to the highest quality arts education to communities as a basic human right. She is specifically dedicated to expanding the non-profit’s reach in the City of Surrey.

Nadia is passionate about her industry as a change agent for women, children and families. She is drawn to education and childcare through her own personal story. She finds passion in human connection, civic activism and more specifically causes that relate to women. Nadia’s interests include mobilizing women and girls by confronting cultural barriers that limit and harm women in closed communities. Words and writing is her passion, and she spends her free time writing to bring voice to untold stories, to encourage people who need help reach out and put a spotlight on real issues.

Rita Rai




Rita graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and a minor in Educational Psychology. While preparing to enrol in the PDP Program at SFU, she completed her Early Childhood Education certificate. She accepted an opportunity to work with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion and quickly advanced to a Supervisory role. Following this, she assisted in the opening of Sunrise Discovery Centre at Sunrise Ridge Elementary School. After returning from her maternity leave she took on a Vice-Principal role at a new South Surrey early education centre. As Academics Educational Systems expanded she moved from Centre Principal, to Director of Education, to leading the corporate office Curriculum & Program team as Vice President of Education. During this time, she was also a Practicum Field Instructor for Douglas College’s Early Childhood Education Program. Most recently Rita worked at Southridge School, where she developed, implemented, and operated the After-School Clubs Program. Rita also directed the Southridge Summer Camp program that oversaw over 500 new children within a 4 week period. During this time she managed over 50 rotating staff and volunteers.

Rita specializes in Educational Program Development, Institutional Operational Policies and Procedures, as well as Staff Training.

Daniela Fisher




Daniela was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She completed high school in Argentina and migrated to Canada after graduating and opened Tango Cafe, an import company focused on Argentinian products, including food and a retail store. Her role at Tango included heading up Marketing, Sales and Management. Daniela went on to study TV and Film Production and worked in the film industry for over 15 years. Then after completing her real estate license she returned to Sales and Marketing overseeing a large residential project and also supporting residential sales for Lark Group for many years.

Charity, gratitude and giving have always been an important part of her life. After the birth of her first child Daniela focused on family, she now has two children, while maintaining her extensive support of the community through The Breakfast Club, Drive for the Cure, The Humane Society and Ballet BC. Sport has always been a mainstay in her life; She is a competitive Ballroom and Latin Dance Champion who trains in her free time and travels the world to compete and holds a Black Belt in Kickboxing Martial Arts. Daniela is also the founder of Naturally Given a company that is focused on increasing positive energy within our communities through ancient healing methods such as; Energy healing, Aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies, Crystal, Light, and Sound therapy and handmade products.

our board of advisors

Kirk Fisher



Kirk’s educational background includes a Degree in Engineering, an MBA and he is a P.Eng. He has extensive experience in corporate management, project planning, business operations, investment and strategic business growth. He specializes in development, construction, business operations and medical technologies and works closely with clinical, university, and business sector partners. He is Senior Vice President of the Lark Group and the co-founder and chief executive officer for HealthTech Connex Inc.

Lark focuses on institutional and care development and is currently developing and building the Health and Technology District at Surrey Memorial Hospital, among other projects. This development includes over 1.5 million square feet of office, retail and care facilities. Lark has owned and operated two triple sheet streamlined ice arena facilities for over 30 years. One in Surrey, BC and one in Kirkland, Quebec, under the name Excellent Ice. The two facilities host the largest youth spring hockey leagues in Western and Eastern Canada respectively.

Lark’s goal through Healthtech Connex is to bring Neurological measurement and improvement across the world and specifically into all of Lark’s businesses, communities and partners. HTC looks forward to integrating health technology at Glarea and Excellent Ice locations to monitor and improve neurological wellness.

Kirk is a proud Surrey native. He has been a lifeguard and swim coach at Crescent Beach Marina in his youth, and still lives and works in the city he grew up in. Almost twenty years ago, Kirk and his peers founded ‘A Drive for A Cure’. Proceeds go towards enhancing the health, well-being, and quality of life for those struggling with cancer or neurological illnesses. Kirk is passionate about construction as a foundation to healthy spaces, where people connect and are purposeful, and exemplifies his company’s commitment to; Boldly Elevate People. Glarea is a part of the Lark legacy and extends its impact to young people through their health facilities, ice arenas and education programs.

Peter Merrill



Peter founded The Hill Academy in Vaughan ON in 2006. The school offers a unique platform that balances academics, athletics, and personal development. The Academy complies with and exceeds government and academic expectations, and employs sound business practices. The enrolment has grown from 15 student athletes to 210 with a post secondary placement rate of 100%. It has been a breeding ground for professional hockey, lacrosse and olympic players. Peter has a Bachelor’s of Physical Education, a Master’s of Arts and has been involved in coaching in University and Professional Levels. Peter has been involved in technology for people with disabilities.

“l have a sincere belief in the value of sport and physical literacy as key ingredients in the academic and personal development of our youth.”

Dr. Ryan



Dr. D’Arcy’s scientific work in neuroscience gained international attention when he was part of the NRC research team that developed an advanced virtual reality-based neurosurgical simulation system that helped brain surgeon Dr. David Clarke remove a brain tumour on a patient in 2009. In 2012, he was highlighted as a “Kickass Canadian” amongst other prominent Canadian leader and he has been awarded a Public Service Award of Excellence, The National Research Council's Research Breakthrough of the Year, and the Discovery Award for Innovation. His team at the NeuroTech Laboratory has been awarded the International Global Best Award in STEM in 2016 (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and his HealthTech Connex Inc. team won a 2018 Surrey Business Excellence Award from the Surrey Board of Trade.

Experience & Discover K-4
Define & Develop (Grade 5)


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